Internet Law

Can Carrier Block Texts Based on Content? T-Mobile Tells Federal Court the Answer Is Yes


In what the Threat Level blog of Wired describes as the first federal case addressing whether wireless providers are permitted to block text messages based on their content, T-Mobile USA Inc. argued in a filing (PDF) yesterday in federal court in Manhattan that it does have this power.

The issue arises in battle between the wireless carrier and a texting service, which signs up customers for so-called “short code” services, in a Southern District of New York case that tests the limits of currently unclear Federal Communications Commission rules about network neutrality.

After the service, EZ Texting, signed up a California medical marijuana dispensing organization, T-Mobile balked concerning all of the company’s clients until EZ Texting provided T-Mobile with a list to pre-approve, the blog post explains.

T-Mobile says the power to pre-approve such clients is necessary “to protect the carrier and its customers from potentially illegal, fraudulent or offensive marketing campaigns conducted on its network.”

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